The premiumisation trend within the juice category has grown noticeably more prominent in recent years.  However, this progressive growth was slowed down in 2020 in light of Covid-19 which saw consumers’ priorities shift.

Health and wellness remain a crowd-pleasing trend and a key innovation theme as health has gained utmost importance during a pandemic. Flavours and flavour mixes in juice drinks or smoothies perceived to be natural such as aloe vera, ginger, spinach or fresh orange juice with vitamin C are thought to play a role in aiding and protecting the immune system. The juice drinks category, in particular, has seen considerable innovation in promoting the functional benefits of beverages in France.

According to GlobalData’s most recent consumer survey (Q1-2021), nearly one quarter (23%*) of consumers in France agree that how a product impacts their health and wellbeing ‘always’ influences their product choice, with a further 62% also highlighting that it is often or somewhat an influential factor in their purchase decisions. In the market, there is a focus on juices with a natural and fresh positioning, as the market is being dominated by health perceptions and a need to boost our digestive health.

In 2020, Cidou Le Bio released orange and banana-flavoured nectar with organic and sugar-free positioning. This innovation capitalises on both the health and wellness trend from a sugar perspective, as well as exemplifies the company’s attempt to alter negative perceptions of the nectar’s category. Another example of a product with perceived functional benefits is Sous Le Pommier pure juice from France, which is claimed to be made from untreated apples for a ‘pure’ and ‘natural’ image. The juice is labelled as 100% French, tying into newly emerging localism trends post-Covid, and it claims to be made with apples that have zero treatment, which means that they are without pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. With these claims, the product is following the ‘clean label’ trend that sees shoppers interested in natural, minimally processed products from a local source.

Lastly, in France, Marks & Spencer began distributing a range that targets health-focused consumers at the end of 2020. The three varieties of its private-label Super Smoothies are Digestive, which is a blend of pineapple, guava, coconut water and lime, which is claimed to be high in fibre with live cultures, Defence, a blend of apple, kiwi, spinach and lime with moringa claimed to be a source of vitamins B6 & B12, and Protect, a blend of orange, lemon and ginger with linseed and claimed to be a source of vitamins C and E.

According to GlobalData’s research, when asked how consumers describe their expenditure on juices and squashes, 15%* stated that they purchase high-end or premium-priced products, with a further 48% detailing that they purchase medium-priced brands. This reinforces the idea that premium, natural beverages remain highly appealing to a large section of the French population, highlighting the market opportunity for current and new juice manufacturers to innovate production lines.

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